What's going around here in food:
- The Society of St. Andrew is a great group that gathers unused food, usually from picked-over fields, and gets it in the hands of people who can use it. They could use help a couple of times this week. In Operation Food Lift, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, they need a few people to help box up butternut squash and load it onto trucks. It's at a warehouse in Monroe, so Southern Mecklenburg and Union County volunteers would be great. On Saturday in Mooresville, they need help picking turnips and greens at 10 am. For details on either of these, email your name and phone number to Kristen Shaben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- House-Autry, the N.C.-based company that makes all kinds of things cornmeal, such as fish-fry and chicken breading, hush puppy mixes and cornbread mixes, has a recipe contest called "I'm Dreaming of a Fried Christmas." (And I'm just going to back away and let you make any joke you like about that.) The grand prize is that you get to make a cooking video that they'll feature at house-autry.com. The recipe has to use a House-Autry product and can't use more than seven ingredients. Deadline is Dec. 13 and you can get entry details here.
- If you've ever shopped at the Fisher Farm stands at the Matthews Community and Charlotte Regional farmers markets, you may not know that Dane Fisher, the guy selling all those heirloom tomatoes, tomato sauces and kale, is actually Dr. Dane Fisher, associate professor of biology at Pheiffer University. He's putting on his speaking cap (he doesn't talk much on cold Saturday mornings, I can tell you) and speaking at Discovery Place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday for the Charlotte Area Science Network. He'll talk about the flavor, quality and nutrition of locally raised produce. Should be intriguing. It's free, but reservations are recommended. Call 704-372-6261, extension 300.